Earth Day 2016: Humanity's devastating effect on the planet in 19 photos

How unnatural the Earth has become

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 21 April 2016 11:57 BST
A remote bay in Java, where waste is being discarded into rivers
A remote bay in Java, where waste is being discarded into rivers

The way we creatures live on this Earth is unsustainable. Indeed, according to one scientist we have already exceeded four of the nine limits for hospitable life, and others have suggested that we've had such a profound effect on the planet's crust that we're deserving of a new epoch named after us - the Anthropocene.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology and the Population Media Center is calling for urgent action, and has released a set of images in the hope of making people think about their individual consumption on a macro level. How that discarded PC joins thousands of others on a heap. How that one house is part of a hugely-overpopulated city. How that Black Friday scrum represents an unnerving level of commodification.

"This is an issue that people care about, and oftentimes it's just not discussed by mainstream media," Missie Thurston, director of marketing and communications at the Population Media Center, told Mic.

Kern River Oil Field in California, USA.

Industrial agriculture in Almeria, Spain.

One of the world's most populous cities, Mexico City in Mexico.

Electrical waste shipped from around the world to Ghana.

Discarded tyres in Nevada.

North East Land, Svalbard, Norway, where temperatures are rising.

A coal power plant in the UK.

Tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

Refuse in Bangladesh.

Los Angeles at night.

A man turns away from the smell of China's Yellow River.

The world's largest diamond mine in Russia.

Pit mining visible from space in Alberta, Canada.

Vancouver Island in Canada.

The Amazon jungle burning to make way for cattle grazing in Brazil.

The results of industrial logging in Willamette National Forest in Oregon, USA.

Black Friday in Boise, Idaho.

All photos: Mic

Major events concerning the environment are taking place this year, with September seeing world leaders try and agree on sustainable environment goals to take us through to 2015 and the UN meeting in Paris in December to try and set caps on pollution.

Meanwhile, an ex-Nasa man is attempting to plant one billion trees a year using drones.

A version of this article was first published in 2015

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