We live in a time unparalleled in history, surrounded by an ongoing series of extraordinary scientific discoveries and technical innovations being made at an exponential rate. Each week seemingly brings us a new miracle, whether it’s AI and deep learning, nanotechnology, wireless mobility, self-driving cars, going to Mars, bioengineering, or CRISPR. The list of technical advancements is seemingly endless, many poised to change our lives forever.
Yet with all of these remarkable achievements, we have not been good custodians of our planet. Despite our scientific discovery and inventions—much of which is poised to empower and benefit the peoples of our world—there is little good news about the impact we humans are having upon life on Earth.
It’s getting worse with time. In the past 25 to 30 years, we’ve lost more than 10% of the global wilderness areas, and half of our coral reefs have died. We’re dumping about 8 million metric tons of plastics (and a vast array of other pollutants) into our oceans each year, and during this hour, we’ve lost another species to extinction.