Banks could solve the worlds environmental problems if they lent money proactively in the following areas:

  • Biodiversity Loss
  • Climate Change
  • Deforestation
  • Degraded Air Quality
  • Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
  • Population Growth
  • Natural Resource Depletion

1. Biodiversity Loss — Genetic diversity, Ecosystem diversity, and Species diversity

  • Maintaining the balance of the ecosystem
  • Recycling and storage of nutrients
  • Combating pollution
  • Stabilizing climate
  • Protecting water resources
  • Forming and protecting soil
  • Maintaining eco-balance
  • Provision of biological resources
  • Provision for medicines and pharmaceuticals
  • Food for humanity and animals
  • Obtaining wood products, ornamental plants, diversity of species, genes, ecosystems, and breeding stock
  • Social benefits
  • Recreation and tourism
  • Cultural values
  • Education and research

2. Climate Change

  • Increasing temperatures worldwide
  • The Earth’s average surface temperature has increased to 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19thcentury due to increased carbon dioxide and human-made emissions released into the atmosphere.
  • Rising ocean temperatures
  • Oceans have absorbed a lot of heat with an estimated 2,300 feet of ocean indicating warming of 302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
  • Shrinking ice sheets
  • The ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctic have decreased in mass. NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show an estimated 281 billion tons of ice lost each year whereas Antarctica has lost an estimated 119 billion tons of ice between 1993 and 2016.
  • Glacial retreats
  • Glacial are retreating in various parts of the world, which include the Himalayas, Alps, Rockies, Alaska, Africa, and Rockies.
  • Reduced snow cover
  • The amount of snow in the Northern Hemisphere has gone down over the last five decades with the snow melting quickly.
  • Rising sea levels
  • Sea levels worldwide have risen by about 8 inches in the last century with the rate in the last two decades nearly doubling from the last century.
  • Declining Arctic sea ice
  • The amount and thickness of Arctic sea ice has decreased quickly over the last several decades.
  • Extreme natural disasters
  • The number of natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires in the United States has been gradually increasing over the years since 1950. Increased surface temperatures can increase the chance of more droughts as well as the intensity of storms. Increased water vapor in the atmosphere can cause severe storms and warmer ocean surface temperatures and increased heat in the atmosphere can lead to increased wind speeds in tropical storms.
  • Ocean acidification
  • The acidity of the ocean has risen to an estimated 30% due to humanity emitting increased carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus causing the ocean to absorb it. The amount of carbon dioxide the upper layer of oceans can absorb has been going up by 2 billion tons each year.

3. Deforestation

  • Loss of habitat
  • 70% of the Earth’s plants and animals call the forest their home.Destroying these forests will leave them homeless, thus diminishing their chances of survival.
  • Increased greenhouse gases
  • South America’s tropical forests are responsible for 20% of the world’s oxygen and are vanishing at a rate of 4 hectares everydecade.
  • Water in the atmosphere
  • Trees control the water level in the atmosphere by regulating the water cycle. If trees continue to disappear at the rate they are now, less water will be returned to the soil from the atmosphere. Dryer soil will not promote the growth of crops. The irony in this is that small-scale agriculture and cattle ranching are responsible for 80% of deforestation.
  • Soil erosion and coastal flooding
  • Trees function to retain topsoil and water required to sustain forest life. Their absence will cause the soil to erode and wash away, causing famers to leave and continue the cycle. In return, the barren land becomes more prone to flooding, especially in coastal regions.

4. Degraded Air Quality

  • Burning of fossil fuels
  • The burning of fossil fuels is responsible for 79% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, and that’s just in the United States. The combustion of fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, and other factory combustibles emit sulfur dioxide into the air. Vehicles such as jeeps, trucks, airplanes, and trains also cause air pollution.
  • Agricultural activities
  • Ammonia is one of the most dangerous gases in the atmosphere and is the result of agricultural activities. Ammonia particles in the air lead to around 3 million deaths each year. Agricultural activities involve using insecticides, fertilizers, and pesticides, which are released into the air and water.
  • Exhaust from industries and factories
  • Manufacturing industries produce large amounts of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, chemicals, and organic compounds.
  • Mining operations
  • Mining done below the earth using large equipment releases dust and chemicals into the air, causing it to get polluted. Workers and nearby residents develop health conditions as a result.
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Household cleaning products and painting supplies produce toxic chemicals. When released into the open, it causes air pollution.

5. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

  • Puts humanity at risk of diseases
  • A depleted ozone layer overexposes people to harsh UV rays and can cause skin cancer, sunburns, a weakened immune system, cataracts, and rapid aging.
  • Damages the environment
  • Harsh UV rays can cease the growth of crops, leading to minimal growth, flowering, and photosynthesis. Some crops that are vulnerable to UV rays include wheat, corn, rice, barley, tomatoes, cauliflower, and oats, just to name a few.
  • Endangers marine life
  • Harsh UV rays endanger marine life such as planktons, which appear higher up in the aquatic food chain. The decrease of planktons can interrupt the marine food chain.
  • Endangers animals
  • Animals exposed to harsh UV rays can develop skin and eye cancer.
  • Impacts materials
  • Harsh UV rays degrade certain materials such as plastics, wood, rubber, and fabrics.

6. Population Growth

  • Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides
  • Mining for minerals
  • Waste and toxic byproducts from manufacturing
  • Land deforestation and development
  • Oil leakages and spillages
  • Fossil fuel extraction and burning
  • Soil erosion and degradation
  • Sewerage and stock effluence

7. Natural Resource Depletion

  • Water
  • 8 billion people will have no water to drink by 2025.
  • Coal
  • Coal supply will last for 188 years, but if overpopulation causes the demand to grow, expect this duration to decrease.
  • Oil
  • The world requires oil for transportation. Currently, the world has access to 188.8 million tons of oil. This can sustain humanity’s oil needs for 46.2 years, as of 2010.
  • Natural gas
  • Current reserves of flammable gas can last the world for 58.6 years, as of 2010.
  • Fish
  • Marine life, including several species of fish, could go extinct due to overfishing.

Humanity, you need to wake up to the destruction caused by the mindless lending of banks! Your existence may cease to exist if we don’t act against banks and address the problem of them lending money irresponsibly.

The global environmental crisis is staring us right in the face and the banks are ignoring it for simple greed. Our planet requires us to step up and do something to help it become whole again, to help it heal again. Do something, humanity, before it becomes too late!

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