Man-Made Materials Now Outweigh Living Things


Graphic by Ava Paolucci

Ava Paolucci, Staff Reporter, Sophomore

Human consequence on the environment has again shown its frightening impact through a jarring report that recently surfaced. With global warming, deforestation, pollution, and a myriad of other environmental issues the Earth continues to decay.  Scientists have revealed their belief that 2020 marked the tipping point where man-made materials outweigh all living biomass.  

Israel Weizmann Institute of Science released a paper on December 9, claiming that the current mass of all man-made items outweighs that of all living things. In their report, they deduced with 95% certainty that this hypothesis has become a fact sometime during the past six years, or will in the six years to come.  The press release also discussed the rapid increase in industrialized goods.    

The report states, “At the beginning of the twentieth century, anthropogenic mass was equal to only 3% of global biomass, with a massive difference of about 1.1 Tt on a dry-weight basis. About 120 years later, in 2020, anthropogenic mass is exceeding overall biomass in the world..”

This wake-up call has led to further predictions. The group of scientists believes by 2040 human-made goods will not only double, but triple the mass of living things.  To add to the mounting issue, as developments are made deforestation increases.  Accelerated building projects, agriculture, mining, and travel ways take more of the natural spaces.  

The gap between the two forces will continue to broaden and the consequences will garner even greater consequences.  Loss of organic beings will increase the effects of global warming, cause food shortages, floods, and extinctions of various animal and plant species.     

Ron Milo, one author of the study told First Post Technology News, “We hope that once we have these somewhat shocking figures before our eyes, we can as a species take responsibility.” 

The information presented by the press release is a wake-up call for all citizens of the world.  Time is running out to save the shared, dying environment.