By: Edwin Calingasan
“Two things are infinite: the universe and our own stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe.” — Albert Einstein
Like any other species, we are mostly approaching the end of our existence and in order to avoid that, we must find a way to save everyone. Nowadays, we look above the stars and search the cosmos for a new home and soar into the future.But imagine what will happen if ever this end will stop us from doing so? It would keep our dreams from flying afar and high into the future. In order to save humanity, we must manage what we currently have right now, through improving our food supply and reducing pollution.
First, we must secure a sustainable and efficient food source. Nowadays we eat around 11.5 million pounds or 5,133 tons of food in one minute and UN estimates we will need 70% more by 2050. To keep the world from starving, we must improve our food source not by further expanding but through intensifying it. We can achieve this through using Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Since the 1980s, biologists have used genetic engineering of crop plants to gain useful traits. For various reasons, only two traits—insect resistance and herbicide resistance—had been genetically engineered into a few crop species and were in widespread use in 2015A great example of this is that in 2013, Bangladesh used BT eggplants that were resistant to pests which lessened pesticide use by 80% and increased profit. However, after all the benefits of this technology, there are still controversies surrounding it which limit its usage in modern agriculture due to downsides like disrupting gene flows or affecting the economy.
Second, the pollution we make every day must be minimized as much as possible to lessen climate change. Nowadays, pleasant summers have turned into hellish droughts and wildfires. According to the World Meteorological Organization, drought affected many parts of Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific in 2019 and the severe drought in Indonesia and neighboring countries led to the most threatening fire season since 2015. To lessen these effects as much as possible, we must quickly resort to artificial means like Geo-Engineering. In 1982, Soviet scientist Mikhail Budyko proposed in filling the stratosphere with sulphate particles to reflect sunlight back into space. Also, in 1997, Edward Teller proposed on placing giant mirrors in space to reflect sunlight. There are still many more ways to lessen climate change, but we must all act fast.
Over the past years, our environmental situation keeps on worsening as our civilization progresses and hereby creates more wastes that pollute the Earth. Evidently, we all see this in the city where our school, Asian International School for Aeronautics and Technology (AISAT) is located, as the scorching heat and the suffocating smoke from the vehicles that pass by weakens us every noontime. The school, too, is making efforts to minimize pollution through extensive recycling, like reusing old and clean plastic bottles for table condiments in the cafeteria, garbage bins made also from plastic bottles, and many more. We must act, not only through small and individual actions bbut also aim for collective efforts for sustainable solutions because what we exactly do now determines the possibility of realised dreams of the future.
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