Strip mine near Billings, Montana.
Our planet's ecosystem is a closed bubble of balance. It is enclosed within the thin envelope of our atmosphere and two magnetically generated radiation belts. This means that nothing can stop the balancing of the chemical and physical composition of the planet. Human technology could influence that balance in favor of our species. However, it has not. Instead, it has set off a sequence of balancing events which will severely challenge human sustainability.
Climate change has accelerated desertification of vast acreage across the planet. This desertification has in turn increased global temperatures. Now, these global temperatures and the accompanying drying of the atmosphere has led to huge forest fires in once verdant areas of Northwest North America, including Alaska. This deforestation will lead to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, increasing global temperatures more rapidly.
The exploration for petrochemicals by a greedy and desperate global petrochemical industry is also marring the Earth's topography as well as corrupting ground water. Strip mining oil sands and coal beds is still occurring on a massive scale. Strip mining for precious metals is also being accelerated by the demands of the technology sector. Water supplies are challenged by overpopulation, as seen in the shutdown of large segments of California agriculture.
The global collapse of bee colonies and populations of other pollinating species will add to the challenge to food production. As the human population spirals out of control, leading to larger and larger megacities, the likelihood of feeding and hydrating those megacities diminishes. And this is as it should be. The Earth is balancing and the human species, which once considered itself immune from the balance of Nature, will soon learn that it is perhaps less important in that process than a species of tiny, flying pollinators.