I sometimes wonder why we refer to environmental stewardship as conservation. Why not preservation, or even restoration? Well, here is what I've concluded.

To preserve is to maintain something in its original or existing state. In our case, when we are talking about the earth, we will never get it back to original because we don't even know what the original Earth looked like. Although maintaining the existing state would be better than the result if we increased emissions, we can't go on living in the current condition. First off, there is no way for humanity to continue living while leaving the planet's condition untouched. We are constantly doing it harm, and every day it's getting worse. Therefore, the possibility of maintaining it in its existing state at this moment in time in impossible. So the real question is how do we prevent even worse destruction and adopt a global lifestyle that drastically slows down our damage.

This leads us to conservation. To conserve is to protect from harm or destruction. The Earth must be treated like our baby. She's not doing so well at the moment, and we have to shield her from the harmful greenhouse gases before she suffocates. To do this, we need to look towards sustained growth. In other words, a solution that will be sturdy and able to support mankind for hundreds of years to come without compromising either the environment's health or the worldwide standard of living. Our current system compromises both. It will not support the growing population. Something must give, either the planet or the population, as there will be an estimated 4 billion people living in hunger by 2050. 

This is a rare opportunity in history to expand economically and help eradicate poverty using a model that will protect, rather than exploit our home planet. We must seize this opportunity and conserve the species and population. We must defend the Earth's biodiversity and its water resources. We must fight to end climate change which threatens us with rising sea levels. And we must act now. We cannot restore the planet because many of the effects of human intervention are irreversible. However we can work to protect from harm or destruction. Instead of maintaining in the current condition, let's work to get the carbon dioxide count in the atmosphere down, which is very possible if we lower our emissions and reforest our land. I'm sorry to inform you that if we keep clearing forests and refuse to use more energy efficient practices or employ renewable energies, we are doomed.

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