We’ve declared a climate emergency – here’s what universal basic income could do to help the planet

The Conversation

Governments around the world are declaring “climate and environmental emergencies” to highlight the unsustainable ways in which humans, over a few generations, have transformed the planet.

We’ve made enough concrete to cover the entire surface of the Earth in a layer two millimetres thick. Enough plastic has been manufactured to Clingfilm it as well. We annually produce 4.8 billion tonnes of our top five crops and 4.8 billion head of livestock. There are 1.2 billion motor vehicles, 2 billion personal computers, and more mobile phones than the 7.6 billion people on Earth.

Globally, human activities move more soil, rock and sediment each year than is transported by all other natural processes combined. Factories and farming remove as much nitrogen from the atmosphere as all Earth’s natural processes and the global climate is warming so fast that we have delayed the next ice age.

We’ve entered the Anthropocene and left behind the stable planetary conditions of the past 10,000 years that allowed farming and complex civilisations to develop.

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