In BriefThe images of the change in cities around the world are striking. Cities continue to sprawl, disrupting the natural ecosystems that have existed much longer than we've been alive.
There is an issue with modern living. It’s not climate change, habitat destruction, air pollution, deforestation, or a mass extinction event. Although all of those things are most assuredly issues, the real problem with modern living is…modern living.
Ultimately, the issue isn’t just how we produce goods for consumption, but consumption itself. We live in an age where we desire, well, everything. We all want multiple cars, TVs, computers, handbags, houses…it seems that people want double and triple of all that they see. And we don’t produce anything on our own. At least, most people don’t make their own goods. Instead of buying clothing that will last us for years, and will provide for all our needs, we buy cheap clothes that we keep for a few months. We grow irate if it takes more than a minute to locate the nearest Starbucks. We get ice cream and makeup and decorations for our houses.
The season of buying is 24/7. It never ends.
If you stop and think for a moment, you know that there is an issue with how we live; however, with the hustle and bustle of life, most of us don’t stop to think about such things. These images may help you remember.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 1990-2013
Toronto, Canada: 1930-2014
Fortaleza, Brazil: 1975-2011
Panama City, Panama: 1930-2009
New York, United States: 1876-1932-1988-2013
Jakarta, Indonesia: 1965-2005
Athens, Greece: 1860 – 2015
Long Beach, United States: 1953-2009
Central Hong Kong: 1967-2008
Increased urbanization and urban sprawl helps to exacerbate the effects of climate change. The more we spread our concrete jungles, the more habitats we destroy and ecosystems we alter. Take a moment to appreciate all we have, including the natural wonders surrounding us.