Ever since the discovery of the steam engine and the start of the Industrial Revolution some 250 years ago, humanity has embarked on a new path it never traveled on before. Everything has skyrocketed. If before 1750 the average population has, more or less, stayed the same since the beginning of human civilization (around 300 million around the globe), now it has become 24 times larger and still growing (7.2 billion). CO2 levels in the atmosphere have reached levels they never have for million of years.
This has put a huge toll on the planet and the resources she is able to provide us each year. After current day consumption, we need roughly 1.6 Earths to cover our entire needs. In other words, we are using .6 more than the planet is able to generate each year. This leads to us destroying the environment, killing off animals, depleting the oceans, cutting the world’s forests etc.
The only way we will ever be able to live in harmony with nature and bring an equilibrium to our way of life, is Sustainable Development. Besides trying to reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels, we should also focus much of our attention to eliminating extreme poverty and conflict from all parts of the world. A poverty stricken country which is ravaged by a civil war will never be able to escape the poverty trap or bring up the issue of gender equality in their society.
In any case, even if things look a bit bleak and there doesn’t seem to be any good end in sight, we shouldn’t lose hope just yet since things are heading in the right direction all around the globe. Here are 17 signs we are heading in the right direction and we may still be able to call ourselves the caretakers of planet Earth for generations to come.