The planet Earth is the only known biosphere for human beings; Which in recent years, has witnessed the devastating impacts of human created pollution. Rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and the loss of biodiversity have all highlighted the urgent need for action. While governments and organizations have taken steps to address this global crisis, a new solution is emerging – regenerative finance (ReFi).
More than seven million deaths worldwide are attributed to the effects of air pollution and rising. The culprits? Fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 µm, also known as PM2.5.
PM2.5 particles are small enough to be inhaled deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream, which can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory infections. These tiny particles can be emitted directly from sources like forest fires, which are increasing in frequency as a result of atmospheric warming.
Methane (CH4) also contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone (a key component of smog), which can contribute to conditions that favor the formation of PM2, amplifying the negative health effects of the air we breath and adding fuel to the fire of existing health issues. Because of its shorter lifetime in the atmosphere of 12 years, Methane has a warming potential over twenty years is 84 times that of CO2 per ton. This means CH4 accounts for about 40 percent of greenhouse gases', released in large quantities by human activities such as coal mining, oil and gas extraction, and landfill decay.
Additionally, we're on track to have more plastic pollution than fish in the ocean by 2050 by weight. That’s a lot of plastic, considering there are an estimated 3.5 trillion fish in the sea. But it’s not hard to imagine when armed with the knowledge that we dump a garbage truck’s worth of plastic into the ocean every minute. Unlike fish — who will die and reintegrate back into the oceanic ecosystem — all of that plastic will stick around for roughly 450 years, breaking down slowly into microplastics (pieces smaller than 5mm in size). Since ocean life curiously taste-tests everything, those microplastics contaminate fish, water and even evaporate and become airborne.
It’s now estimated that the average human being consumes 1 credit card worth of microplastic every week. While the research is still early on the health effects — it’s not good. The toxicity from plastic has been linked with sexual function, fertility complications, and cancer. One recent study even found microplastics present in 4 out of 6 human placentas that were tested.
The cost of pollution has exponential effects, that is felt for generations to come. It is estimated the 2015 costs of air pollution in the United States alone range from $37 to $45 billion per year; damages to buildings are in the range of $0.4 to $8.0 billion, and crop losses amount to $2 to $6 billion. As the levels of greenhouse gasses like methane increase, increasing the probabilities for runaway forest fires, which leads to ground-level ozone and PM2.5 increases worldwide, and even further economic damages. Others estimate human pollution could impact global GDP from 20 to up to 40%, or as much as $18 Trillion annually.
Protecting the future of life on Earth, and avoid economic loss presents an opportunity for innovation of our global financial system to re-think how it has been done in the past. Our mission is to utilize decentralized finance (Ethereum) and money (Bitcoin), to create this new economy for reducing human pollution, and regenerating planet Earth.
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