Alongside population growth, overuse and pollution of the planet’s land, water and air resources could lead a million species to extinction, a 130-country strong United Nations panel concluded on Monday.

Biodiversity is dropping tens to hundreds of times faster than averaged over the last 10 million years—and even that rate is accelerating.

For instance, close to one in two amphibian species may become extinct; natural ecosystems have lost half their planetary surface.

The report insists our only solution is a radical reorganisation of human “paradigms, goals, and values,” across “technological, economic, and social” systems.

It also notes “nature managed by Indigenous Peoples [...] is declining less rapidly than in other lands”—confirming indigenous peoples are often superior environmental stewards.

Yet this observation also begs the question: how should we assign responsibility to undergo these functional changes? By geography—socio-economic statusindustry?

A 2017 report calculated 100 fossil fuel companies produced 71% of the world’s carbon emissions. So should corporations undergo the deepest reforms?

Or should the general public be equally accountable, given that our lifestyles—particularly in industrialised and developed countries—demand this energy output?

Which demographics should bear the brunt of this “transformational change”?

   

Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.