Our life-stile of endless consumption is causing chaos in mother nature. The earth's resources will not last for long if we continue to consume and use the resources as we are doing today. Human beings have dramatically affected nature, especially during the last 200 years - the industrial epoch in the history of man. We have ruthlessly taken as many accessible, but not necessarily renewable, resources and changed survival opportunities for flora, fauna and ourselves. Our economy is still based upon cheap fossil fuel and a constant growth of gross national product.
Or if we look at it from another point of view:
We have not inherited the Earth from our parents. We have borrowed it from our children.
The effect on nature can be illustrated by two examples:
The lack of fresh water:
One of the greatest threats for the survival of man. By 2050, one third of the global population will have a serious water shortage. Today 1.200.000.000 people have no treatment for waste water. Less water returns to the water table than the amount we pump up. 45.000 dams collect 14% of all fresh water. Irrigation causes huge losses of fresh water and a continuous salinization of the topsoil.
We are reducing the bio-diversity
Before the seventeenth century, man extinguished only a few species per century. Today we root out more than twenty species per day (birds and mammals). There are more than 250.000 plant species on the earth today, 10% of which can be lost in the near future.