Soil, the delicate layer that covers the land of our planet, that makes life possible. Our resource extraction, especially over the last hundred years or so, has left many scars on this skin. 

Usually in remote places, removed from our gaze, they have been brought to our attention by the beautiful photographs of Edward Burtynsky. 

Zooming in via Google Earth can give an idea of the vastness of these places, but still difficult to grasp how our resource hunger impacts the soil on a global scale. Not just an effect of these mining operation, since all things are connected, and the land beneath our feet is losing the ability to support life. Droughts and desertification are no longer restricted to arid regions, land degradation is a global problem.

More than 75% of the Earth’s land are substantially degraded, meaning, these have become deserts, are polluted or have been deforested, severely threatening biodiversity and probably your ‘back yard.’

Time to act is now, or better, yesterday, 20 years ago, for a sustainable and equitable future. But a good source to read up, is the World Atlas of Desertification and don’t let the title mislead you, degradation is all around you. 

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20181017-striking-photos-of-human-scars-on-earth

https://wad.jrc.ec.europa.eu/#about World Atlas of Desertification

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/ipbes-land-degradation-environmental-damage-report-spd

https://www.ipbes.net