It used to be that when we heard the words, endangered list, we only thought about animals. However, with global warming and an ever-growing world population, the world’s wonders and treasures are on their way to disappearing.
As in the recent movie, “The Bucket List,” you’d better get out and see these places before you, or they, kick the bucket.
Worldwide, glaciers are melting at an alarming pace. In Switzerland’s popular resort areas, many of these fields of ice are disappearing. Scientists from the University of Innsbruck predict that if melting continues at the pace it has been, most of the glaciers will be gone by 2030.
Ranchers kill lions who prey on their livestock, and even in this day and age, hunters kill them for sport, and poachers kill them for money. Yes, there are lions that live in preserves, but here they are challenged by inbreeding, disease, lack of funding and corruption.
Central America’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve
Deforestation and global warming threatens the Central American forest where literally hundreds of plant and animal species live. And the clouds that provide life-giving water are even dwindling along with the plants and animals.
Orangutans, Asian elephants and Sumatran rhinos call Borneo their home, but that home’s tropical rain forest is being destroyed by loggers and palm farmers. The Indonesian government believes that creating jobs is more important than the destruction caused by these industries.
The US Congress launched a restoration plan for the Everglades in 2002, and yet, it is still disappearing at an alarming rate. Over half of it has been drained away in the name of development, farming and irrigation.
India’s Taj Mahal
Even a seemingly solid structure can lay victim to it’s environment. The Taj Mahal is being bombarded by acid rain, soot and airborne particles from nearby factories and refineries. What were once white walls are now pale yellow. In an effort to protect this mausoleum, it may soon be packed in mud.
The Arctic’s Polar Bears
The Earth warms, the ice melts, the food supply lessens, and the polar bears disappear. Even more frustrating, the Bush Administration leased 30 million acres in the Chukchi Sea to explore the possibility of oil. Nevermind that this is where the bears live, and their habitat is already in crisis. Polar bears could be forever be gone in a little over 4 decades.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
Did you know that the only living thing you can see from space is the Great Barrier Reef? This tourist attraction is dying due to global warming, which is causing the water temperatures and acidic levels to rise and coral to die out. This reef could completely die as soon as twenty years from now.
Louisiana’s Salt Marshes
Coastal salt marshes along Louisiana and Mississippi are like buffer zones against storms, and we know that this region has been hard-struck lately by hurricanes and tropical storms. Yet these areas are disappearing, again, in the name of manufacturing. If this human interference doesn’t stop, we can expect that over 25 square miles of these wetlands will soon be lost.
One of the highest peaks in the world is losing its snow. Global warming is the suspected culprit, and as the snows disappear, more people are trying to scale it. This causes it to deteriorate even faster, and begs the question, when will we learn to stop tromping on our planet?