The motivation for this year 2020: “The role of biological diversity”

This year marks the golden anniversary of the International Mother Earth Day, established on April 22, 1970, to stimulate by the American senator Gaylord Nelson, promoter of the first demonstration in defense of the environment in the United States. 50 years ago, Nelson encouraged students to develop environmental awareness projects in their communities. In the middle of this new energy came International Earth Day, which released its new name “Mother Earth” in 2009.

The role of biological diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), one of the documents produced by the Rio Conference, Second Earth Summit, is a legally binding international treaty with three main objectives: «the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable participation in the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. Its overall objective is to promote measures that lead to a sustainable future. ”

Like almost all these conventions, agreements, protocols, conventions, the Convention on Biological Diversity is drafted with good intention, but unfortunately the reality is far from its laudable purposes. The UN is right when it states: “Despite current efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide at a rate unprecedented in human history. It is estimated that around one million animal and plant species are currently in danger of extinction.”

Biological diversity and species extinction

We have already said in another place that 590 million years ago a vital Big Bang happened, an immense expansion of life on Earth, a stage in which the greatest diversity of flora and fauna ever known broke out, grandfather of the immense biodiversity that we currently know . The different forms of life inhabit side by side in an almost perfect coexistence, because, despite extinctions of species in the past, nature has always managed to restore balance.

The extinction of species results in the loss of biodiversity, genetic diversity, and an increase in pathologies. Another consequence of the extinction of a species is the alteration of the food chain. When a link in the chain is missing, it affects the preceding link, which is left without nutrients; instead, the consequent link, being free of a predator, experiences a disproportionate expansion, affecting the entire chain. If there are many species that become extinct, we could attend a chaotic environment in the ecosystem.

Writing in time of coronavirus

These days it is not at all easy to tackle any topic without considering the new coronavirus, the most lethal and expansive virus so far known, whose effect in military terms is equivalent to a simultaneous attack by the four flanks of the planet, which to date has killed some 170 thousand people, infected more than 2.5 million and keeps almost all of humanity in quarantine.

It is the first time that the inhabitants of our extraordinary blue planet have had to shut ourselves in our homes in masse for a long time, an unprecedented fact, since it did not occur in either the two world wars or the Spanish Flu, which left a balance of million dead, but it did not spread throughout the planet. COVID-19 is the greatest crisis suffered by humanity and the greatest threat to Homo sapiens since the so-called ice age ended twelve thousand years ago.

The destruction of the economy cannot yet be quantified, but economists predict that the aftermath of the virus may be equal to or worse than that of the Great Depression of 1929. To this must be added the psychological effects caused by the prolonged quarantine, the loss of family income for laid-off employees or falling income for those who live from a business or are self-employed. All due to the catastrophic virus.

The dangerous, lifeless microorganism, made up of just a genetic material protected by a protein envelope, has managed to interfere with the life and activities of most humans. The small entity has affected studies, plans, projects, ventures, industrial and business activities, surgical interventions, sporting events, concerts, trips, vacation plans and many more that have been canceled or postponed.

For example, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will no longer be held in July-August this year, but in March-April 2021. It is only the fourth time that they have been suspended. The other three were in the First and Second World War. At the end of this article you can see some details of the suspended or canceled sports activities.

Climate change and COVID-19, two different events but with something in common

COVID-19 is an unexpected event, which was impossible to anticipate. Only in the most fantasy minds, dedicated to science fiction, could a virus fit to paralyze the Earth. Almost four months after the first case, it is still impossible to predict when and how all this will end.

The threats of climate change, on the contrary, have been documented for a long time, as can be seen in “Pioneers of climate change”. Despite this, little attention has been paid to these pioneers, as well as current scientists. As a consequence, we have reached extremely dangerous situations, the magnitude and intensity of which could present themselves as unexpected events, just as COVID-19 did.

By the moment everything has collapsed due to the unexpected arrival of the coronavirus, but beware, if global warming gets out of hand, the collapse will have much greater consequences and more difficult to reverse than the virus crisis. For now, great lessons will have to be learned from this anarchy of 2020 and transpolate it to the fight against climate change.

COP26 and the activation of the Paris Agreement postponed

The COP26 has been suspended until next year. Another unprecedented fact, It is the first time that this has happened since the creation of COPs, a quarter of a century ago. The exact date of its implementation is not yet at hand, But the most serious thing is that in Glasgow 2020 the Paris Agreement will no longer be activated. The basic document for the fight against climate change will be postponed, when what interests us most is moving faster.

Main triggers and consequences of climate change

In the future, if the goal of the Paris Agreement is not reached, limiting the increase in world temperature between 2 °C and 1.5 °C, from its pre-industrial level, events such as the acceleration of the smelter could occur from glaciers and other icy formations. This would also accelerate the increase in the level of seas and oceans, with serious consequences for island and coastal populations, forcing chaotic mega migrations of people and fauna.

This increase in the level of the waters, although for now it is measured in fractions of millimeters per year, with an annual average of 0.4 mm since 1993, in a scenario of uncontrolled climate it could reach much higher levels, especially if the temperature continues to rise in the planet, as it has happened more than a dozen times in this still short 21st century.

Imagine what would happen if we did not tackle situations such as the massive deforestation of rain forests in time. In this situation, we would see climate change accelerate, as it already happened in Borneo, faster than that caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Hostile deforestation triggers a succession of disastrous events: deforestation >>> forest fires >>> droughts >>> soil degradation >>> desertification >>> water scarcity >>> crop failure >>> famine. Once this chain of events is activated, it is difficult to stop it, especially if there is no will stop cutting down the trees.

Because of all these black clouds hanging over our heads, we must all focus on studying, acquiring knowledge, joining groups of environmental activists, participating in forums and meetings on climate change and related topics, but above all not falling into the game of deniers of science.

Sandor A. Gerendas-Kiss


Source: CNN in Spanish

Main sporting events that have been suspended or canceled

Soccer: Copa América and Eurocopa. World Cup Qualifiers. Champions League and Europa League. They were postponed by FIFA until 2021.

Basketball: The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), canceled all its activities. NBA suspended season.

Baseball: MLB postponed the start of the season.

Formula 1: Grand Prix in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, and China were postponed.

MotoGP: The Qatar Grand Prix, the Thai Grand Prix, Austin Grand Prix suspended.

Tennis: The Roland Garros will be played from September 20 to October 4. Wimbledon will not be played in 2020.

Marathons: The Boston Marathon, the Seoul Marathon and the Rome Marathon were canceled.

Cycling: The start of the Giro d’Italia scheduled for Hungary was suspended. The Tour of the United Arab Emirates was suspended with two stages to go.