The issues humanity faces
The Earth, its environments, and humanity face many serious issues that threaten our society, our economy, and the existence of other species and of entire ecosystems. These are some of those issues:
We make the things that we need and want to run our lives using a wide range of resources that we take from Earth and its environments. Many of those resources are finite and are being quickly depleted. Other resources that we need are renewable, but we are using too much of them to allow them to renew. Consequently, the resources that underpin our lives may soon not be available to us.
Some of the resources that we use are energy resources. Energy resources are special – we rely on freely available energy to obtain and convert all of the other resources that we take from
Earth and its environments into the things that we need and want. Without energy resources, all other resources become much less available to us. Most of that energy comes from finite
sources such as fossil fuels. Those sources are rapidly being depleted.
Many of the species that we share Earth with, and that evolved alongside us, are threatened with extinction because we have harvested too much of those species for our use, or because we have damaged or destroyed the environment that they live in.
Over the last one hundred and fifty years humanity has been taking fossilised carbon and putting it into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. The carbon-dioxide increases the strength of the greenhouse effect, which causes global warming, which, in turn, changes the climate of the planet, making it warmer and more volatile.
food and water security
As the human population of Earth increases and as the affluence of that population increases, the ability of Earth to supply the increased demands for food is decreasing. Modern food production relies on fertilisers that are energy intensive in their manufacture, or that are themselves irreplaceable depleting finite resources. Modern food production is highly mechanised and relies on cheap fuels which are becoming more difficult to obtain and therefore more expensive. The land available for growing food is under threat from degradation, urbanisation, climate change, and displacement by energy crops.
Our economic system has flaws that make it inherently unstable; most importantly, the global economy is configured so that it must always grow. The global economy grows within the finite system that is Earth and its environments. The economy must eventually reach the limits of the resources that Earth can provide for it to grow; when it does it will collapse, leaving us without the things that we need to maintain our lives.
the human condition
The quality of life for much of the human population of Earth is poor. Many people live lives that have limited meaning, fulfilment, amenity, and security.
While these issues cover broad areas, many of them are caused, exacerbated, or made unsolvable by one or more closely interrelated causes. You can find out about these special causes here.