If you read news reports around the world, there is a large chance you have encountered doomsday predictions about the future of our planet. Tragically, these reports focus on the increasing frequency of natural disasters and disappearing natural resources. Consider the rapidly shrinking Dead Sea, which has slowly disappeared at a rate of 1-meter per year (40 meters since the 1950s) due to the lack of inflowing water from the Jordan River upstream. The Dead Sea, known since Biblical times for alleged healing qualities, is one recent example of natural disaster attributed to humans.

Nature is more vulnerable now than ever before to environmental threats posed by humans  because of the direct harm we cause through our actions. The planet is under more stress today than ever before because of expanding industries, population growth, and changes to the climate. Some of our actions that directly threaten nature are common sense, such as littering, hunting, and overgrazing. As individuals, we have the power to consciously change our habits. In time, you will see the power that your actions have to save the planet. To see the benefits, look no further than the natural habitats in your neighborhoods as they return to their “pristine” state. The word “pristine” refers to the state of nature before humans existed there. Imagine what it would be like to walk in untouched nature with no traces of damage. Through environmental conservation, this is not an imaginary dream – it’s a reality! – if you commit to being a steward of nature .

Other environmental threats like pollution, overexploitation , and man-made disasters may also impact the environment. Solutions to these threats require cooperation across different sectors of society (government, private industry, and consumers) working hand in hand. Pollution, overexploitation, and man-made disasters have a direct negative influence on the planet and contribute to “climate change,” a globally recognized phenomenon.

Who is hurt the most by threats to nature? Of course, the wildlife on our planet bears the largest burden. But in reality, you and the rest of the human population will be the biggest victims of our own destructive actions. Not a single person has enough wealth to afford living on a planet that is uninhabitable without nature. A loss of nature is a loss of biodiversity, beauty, and livelihood! Without nature, we will encounter a future that is as unpredictable as the doomsday reports predict.

Read more about specific threats to nature and support local efforts to protect natural wildlife.